Curtis Meyer reporter
Pitt State kept their undefeated record with a 31-21 win over the Missouri Southern Lions on Saturday, starting fast with touchdowns on each of their two drives in the first quarter.
“I felt like we played okay, our offense played well, we ran the ball really well. It’s a luxury. It helps when you have a lot of guys that can run the ball well. It makes it easier on us because we have guys that can go at both positions, even at quarterback, so if one guy is tired the next is ready to go, and that makes it harder on defenses as well,” said junior running back Noah Hernadez.
Pitt State came out playing old school football, with 265 rushing yards across three different running backs and a couple of quarterback runs, while only getting 92 yards through the air. Pitt State set the tone on the opening drive when senior running back Antwan Squire ran it 15-yards for the first score.
The Gorillas forced a quick three and out on defense, and the Gorillas offense capitalized, driving down the field before Squire caught a 1-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0.
Pitt State forced another three outs, as the Gorillas had possession going into the second quarter. Neither team could get things going in the second, until the Lions fought back into the game with an eight-yard touchdown pass with just seven seconds remaining in the half.
It took a couple of drives, but Pitt State found another score as sophomore running back Cleo Chandler Jr. ran it in from seven yards out to make it 21-7 with a couple of minutes left in the third quarter.
Pitt State would take the 21-7 lead into the fourth quarter, scoring on their first play with Hernadez taking it in from 2-yards out to take the Gorillas up 28-7. Missouri Southern was not done yet, crawling back in the game with a fumble by junior quarterback Chad Dodson recovered by the Lions and returned for a touchdown.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Lions tried to onside kick but failed. After the play, things got chippy on the Lions sideline, with some of the MSSU coaches even getting involved. This led to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, turning a first down on the PSU 50 into a first down on the MSSU 17.
Pitt State came away with a field goal, extending their lead to 31-14. The Lions were able to score a touchdown again, this time from 35-yards out. Pitt State continued to lean on its run game with 2:21 left in the game, rushing for the first down and running the clock out for the win.
“We really just took it as another opportunity to take full advantage of another Saturday game, no matter where we win, no matter where we play it’s just another business trip. I think we saw that, we played to our standard,” said senior Micheal Lacey.
Pitt State will face Northwest Missouri State next weekend, traveling for their second away game in a row.